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FRIDAY EDITION: Raging wind and rain here in the island, should stir up the lobsters. Lobster season still closed until the whales pass by, your government at work. The liberal tree huggers loaded up at the town meeting, all 150 voters present of 7000 residents and  they voted to ban leaf blowers due to noise and pollution. Their leftwing kids are polluting the atmosphere more by vaping dope but that is ok.....I bet next year they go after those damn polluting charcoal bbq grills and smokers....

Amateur Radio Newsline Report

HYTERA COMMUNICATIONS BANNED FROM WORLDWIDE SALE OF 2-WAY RADIOS

PAUL/ANCHOR: Our top story this week brings the latest chapter in a long-simmering patent dispute between Motorola and Hytera. A US federal court in the Northern District of Illinois has prohibited Hytera Communications, a major provider of two-way radios, from selling, distributing or importing its radios [quote] "until further notice," [endquote] requiring the company to pay a daily fine of $1-million to the court if they do not comply.

Even as it acted in compliance with the US court injunction, Hytera separately announced it was withdrawing its own counterclaims against Illinois-based Motorola that it had filed in a Shenzhen court. Hytera has denied claims that its H-series radios have infringed on Motorola's trademark and copyright.

The US court injunction banning the radios' global sales came just as Hytera was preparing to show at ISC West, a major security conference being held in Las Vegas, Nevada, starting on April 9th.

(GLOBAL NEWS, IPVM, ISC WEST)

**
HAMS SUMMON HELP AFTER DEATH VALLEY DISTRESS CALL

PAUL/ANCHOR: When getting on the air from a national park isn't a POTA activation - but a call for help - other hams are always there, as one new operator in California discovered. We hear this story from Ralph Squillace KK6ITB.

RALPH: A distress call from an amateur radio operator stranded in Death Valley mobilized some quick-acting amateur radio operators - some of them hundreds of miles away - to get the ham and his family some assistance. According to personal accounts and media reports, Moritz Wacker, KO6DZX, was camping with his family on Friday April 5th, when their vehicle became stuck in the mud. Caleb Gustwiller, KD8TGB, and Craig Rower, KE8QJV, were among those who picked up his weak distress call on 28.430 MHz. The stranded ham had his radio along for the trip and used it.  Caleb said in an email to Newsline that he and other hams who were listening -- including fellow members of the Black Swamp Amateur Radio Club -- heard him faintly in Ohio. Those hams along with many others posted on the Parks on the Air page on Facebook to get the word out -- and still others called the county sheriff in Death Valley, police in San Diego, which QRZ.com lists as the ham's address. Other radio operators reached out to the National Parks Service police. Caleb said it was an all-out effort from various locations.

Caleb told Newsline that the stranded ham is a relatively new licensee. This was apparently a camping trip, not a POTA outing, but contacts made with the Xiegu G90 and quarter-wave vertical did the trick. According to all accounts, Rangers found the family and they were back home safely that night.

This Ralph Squillace KK6ITB.

(CALEB GUSTWILLER, KD8TGB, HAM RADIO CRASH COURSE)

**

HAMS' EFFORTS HELP SHED LIGHT ON SOLAR ECLIPSE

PAUL/ANCHOR: The recent solar eclipse over North America gave hams a chance to give back to science in a big way - as big as the sun itself, you might say. Sel Embee KB3TZD has that story.

SEL: The day after the April 8th solar eclipse, logs were already rolling in from hams and radio clubs in North America who had taken part in the Solar Eclipse QSO Party. The party's organizer, the citizen science group HamSCI, was already embarking on its next big challenge: to study the logs and the results of other propagation experiments that were taking place concurrently.

The inboxes were filling up fast, according to HamSCI's public information officer Ed Efchak, WX2R. Ed told Newsline in a phone call one day later: [quote] "We are certainly very very happy with yesterday. A lot of people were on the air who understood that from the standpoint of science you have to populate to propagate." [endquote]

That population included the Suffolk County Radio Club, W2DQ, which set up a Field Day-style operation outside an eastern Long Island library where it operated SSB and FT8. It was also a chance to educate visitors as club vice president Ed Wilson N2XDD explained the hams' roles in the ionospheric studies.

Meanwhile, HamSCI reported that WSPR data was already coming in from a concurrent event, the Gladstone Signal Spotting Challenge. He said valuable results were collected as well from HamSCI's personal weather stations, the time-delay-of-arrival experiment and the medium-wave recordings experiment.

Conclusions are, of course, a long way off -- but visitors to Hamvention in Ohio next month will be hearing more of what's to come.

This is Sel Embee KB3TZD.


PAUL/ANCHOR: If you were involved in the QSO Party and haven't already done so, upload your logs in .ADI or Cabrillo format, following the link in the text version of this week's Newsline script at arnewsline.org.

[DO NOT READ: https://seqp.contesting.com/seqpsubmitlog.php ]

**
NASA IDENTIFIES MEMORY CHIP THAT GARBLED VOYAGER'S DATA

PAUL/ANCHOR: Scientists at NASA have identified a damaged memory chip that compromised Voyager 1's transmissions. We have more details from Travis Lisk N3ILS.

TRAVIS: NASA engineers are confident they have traced the source of the garbled data that was coming from the deep-space probe, Voyager 1. According to the NASA website, one of the on-board computers was found to have corrupted memory and that a single chip within the Flight Data Subsystem failed, causing this to happen. Since November any science and engineering data sent to Earth has been garbled. Engineers were able to link the small percentage of corrupted data to that single memory chip.

Whether the failure was the result of wear and tear after 47 years of flight -- or something else -- NASA engineers are now hopeful that they can fashion an alternate method of keeping Voyager 1 on the job.

This is Travis Lisk N3ILS.

(NASA.GOV, HACKADAY)

**

**
DEADLINE APPROACHES FOR OMIK SCHOLARSHIP FUND APPLICANTS

PAUL/ANCHOR: There's still time left for high school seniors or college students to apply for assistance from the OMIK (OH MIKE) Scholarship Fund. This nonprofit organization was established as a separate entity by the OMIK Amateur Radio Association to fulfill the mission of motivating youth in their education. The fund supports those pursuing studies in electronics, science, mathematics or communications.

The deadline for applications is the first of May. Previous years' scholarships were supported in part by grants from Amateur Radio Digital Communications. For additional details on how to apply, see the link in the text version of this week's newscast at arnewsline.org

[DO NOT READ: https://www.omikradio.org/omik-scholarship/info ]

(OMIK AMATEUR RADIO ASSOCIATION)

**

WEST VIRGINIA BROADCAST TOWERS DESTROYED IN WINDSTORM

PAUL/ANCHOR: This year has not been kind to broadcast radio towers in the United States. The latest towers to be destroyed are in West Virginia but this time it was by an act of nature - a fierce windstorm with gusts of up to 90 mph. Jim Damron N8TMW has that report.

JIM: High winds have destroyed two of the four towers serving the West Virginia MetroNews network's flagship radio station, WCHS-AM and its sister FM station. WCHS, a news, talk and sports broadcaster, is known as "The Voice of Charleston."

The AM radio station, which broadcasts on 580 kHz with a 5 kw signal, is the Primary Entry Point Emergency Alert System for West Virginia. Its programming serves the southern and southwestern part of the state.

The tower damage also affected AM station WSWW, which broadcasts on 1490 kHz. That station, an ESPN radio affiliate, returned to its regular sports programming a day later.

A pair of FM translators also broadcast the stations' signals on 95.7 MHz and 104.5 MHz.

A report on the Radio World website showed photos of the wreckage. Questions remained on how or when the towers would be replaced.

On a personal note, I had the privilege of working at WCHS radio several years ago.

This is Jim Damron N8TMW.

(RADIO WORLD)

**
NOMINATE NEWSLINE'S NEXT YOUNG HAM OF THE YEAR

PAUL/ANCHOR: We're getting closer to the deadline time for this year's Bill Pasternak Memorial Young Ham of the Year award. Let Newsline know of any promising young amateurs who are deserving of this honor. Candidates must live in the continental United States and be 18 years of age or younger. Tell our judges about your nominee's talent, promise and commitment to the spirit of ham radio. This is your chance to help honor and acknowledge that person who will, no doubt, go on to teach and inspire others. Find the nomination form on our website arnewsline.org under the "AWARDS" tab. Nominations close on May 31st.

**
PRESENTERS NEEDED FOR GNU RADIO CONFERENCE

PAUL/ANCHOR: Fans of open-source software for radio will be attending a conference later this year and presenters are needed, as we hear from Andy Morrison K9AWM.

ANDY: The 14th annual conference focusing on the free, open-source software development tool known as GNU Radio is looking for presenters. Developers and users from around the radio community are being invited to Knoxville, Tennessee in September to share papers, presentations, projects - and even to pose some questions - to fellow radio operators, researchers and educators. The development toolkit has been employed everywhere -- from amateur radio to industry and government -- to be paired with software-defined radio as well as simulated radio environments.

Previous conference topics have included GNU radio's role in atmospheric research, amateur radio, citizen science and channel modeling. Proposals are due no later than June 17th. The conference is scheduled to start on the 16th of September. Visit g n u radio dot org (gnuradio.org) for details.

This is Andy Morrison K9AWM.

(GNU RADIO CONFERENCE 2024)

**

SILENT KEY: PUBLIC SERVICE ADVOCATE ANGUS JOE MACPHERSON, VE1CH

PAUL/ANCHOR: A longtime radio amateur who had been active as a leader and educator in the world of public service in Canada has become a Silent Key. We hear about him from Dave Parks WB8ODF.

DAVE: Angus Joe MacPherson, VE1CH, died on April 6th of colon cancer at the Palliative Care Unit of the Victoria General Hospital in Halifax, Nova Scotia. First licensed in 1963 with the callsign VE1AHC, Joe enjoyed an amateur radio career that was complemented by his many professional and volunteer roles as a communicator in public service. Joe was a veteran of the Royal Canadian Navy, which he had served as a radioman.

Later, he served as volunteer telecommunications officer with the Canadian Red Cross and was a visiting instructor at the Canadian Emergency Preparedness College in Ontario. He retired from Industry Canada, formerly known as the Department of Communications, where he had worked in the Cable TV Section and Radio Regulatory Division. He represented the department on NATO's Civil Communications Planning Committee, many of them in Europe. In 2002, he became first vice president of Radio Amateurs of Canada.

Joe was 81.

This is Dave Parks WB8ODF.

(QRZ.COM, FACEBOOK, DIGNITY MEMORIAL)

**

3-D RF FILTERS SEEN AS FUTURE FOR WIRELESS

PAUL/ANCHOR: Scientists have found a way to save space and increase performance in wireless devices by using 3-D RF filters, as we hear from Kent Peterson KCØDGY.

KENT: A Florida researcher has developed three-dimensional RF filters that may one day save space inside smartphones and IoT devices, leaving more room for batteries and someday paving the way for 6G wireless devices operating in the terahertz range.

The researcher, Roozbeh Tabrizian of the University of Florida in Gainesville, calls RF filters [quote] "the entire backbone of wireless systems." [endquote]

Writing earlier this year in the journal, Nature Electronics, the Florida research team explained how the 3-D filters were developed to take the place of the more commonplace flat resonators which have varying thicknesses depending upon the wireless frequencies they are using. By comparison, the 3D resonators, known as ferroelectric-gate fin, or FGF, are able to handle frequencies between 3 GHz and 28

The research team has already manufactured several of them.

This is Kent Peterson KCØDGY.

(IEEE SPECTRUM)

**

HAMS IN SPAIN GET PRIVILEGES ON 8 METRES

PAUL/ANCHOR: Hams in Spain recently got good news from the regulator: They have privileges on 40 MHz.

JEREMY: Amateurs in Spain have been given access to the 8-metre band for the next 18 months, joining the hams in other countries such as South Africa, Slovenia, Lithuania, Denmark and Ireland, who also enjoy operational or propagation research privileges on 40 MHz.

In Spain, radio operators may use a maximum PEP of 25w for transmissions on 40.650 to 40.750 MHz. The announcement was made by the country's Secretary of State for Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure, which granted the permission after advocacy from the URE, the national association for radio amateurs in Spain. Hams in Spain may only transmit from the fixed location to which their licence is assigned and before doing so for the first time, must notify the telecommunications authorities.

This is Jeremy Boot G4NJH.

(AMATEUR RADIO WEEKLY, EI7GL BLOG)

**

WORLD OF DX

In the World of DX, listen for Dominique, F5PTI, on the air as TM500NA from the 14th to the 28th of April to mark the 500th anniversary of the first visit made to the New York City area by the European explorer, Giovanni da Verrazzano. QSL via F5PTI.

Listen for Janusz, SP9FIH, and Leszek, SP6CIK, operating from Bhutan as A52P and A52CI, respectively. They are on the air from the 19th of April through to the 4th of May, calling QRZ on 40-6 metres using CW, SSB and the digital modes. For QSL details visit QRZ.com.

There are some activations to listen for in recognition of World Amateur Radio Day and the founding 99 years ago of the International Amateur Radio Union. The Emirates Amateur Radio Society will operate with the special callsign A6ØWARD from the 15th through to the 24th of April. The callsign will be appended by a number of different numeric extensions. See QRZ.com for QSL details.

Listen too for the callsign CN99HR. Hams in Morocco will be active on the 13th through to the 21st of April, marking the IARU's anniversary. QSL directly to CN8RAH.

(425 DX BULLETIN)

**
KICKER: YL CREATES APPLE APP TO PUT PARKS ON THE MAP

PAUL/ANCHOR: Our last story for this week takes us to Australia where an enterprising YL has given a gift to iPhone and iPad users who felt a bit left out in the woods when they were doing portable activations. We hear about her from Graham Kemp VK4BB.

GRAHAM: Parklands and summits are anything but a wilderness for Sue Southcott, VK5AYL. For her, inspiration grows abundantly under the canopy of trees. The retired computer programmer is the author of a free app in use by iPhone and iPad owners in Australia and New Zealand. They make use of it to view and create spots, alerts and logging for SOTA, POTA, HEMA, WWFF, SHIRES and Silos on the Air. She introduced the app, known as Parks & Peaks, at a meeting of the Wireless Institute of Australia in 2017.

Creating it did not come easily at the time for Sue, who was still employed as a PC programmer - and whose knowledge of Apple devices only included a few basics about their programming language known as Swift. So she did her homework on nights and weekends to learn it, with an eye toward filling the need for a complementary app already available to Android users.

She's currently working on Version 4 and at some point would like to release an international version.

Best of all, Sue isn't just a programmer, she's an activator who gets to field test her own creation. One of her last activations was near the Pinnacles, spectacular limestone structures on Western Australia's Coral Coast. Needless to say, both the app and the activation were a success.

THURSDAY EDITION: Yesterday was EBay day at the club. We took in a mint Icom 706MKII and two Yaesu FT7900's which we will clean up and test before listing them....nice donation! We now have raised over $6000 toward the new repeater antenna upgrade....

3 CubeSats will be deployed from “Kibo” on Thursday, April 11, 2024....more space junk

On April 11, 2024, the following 3 CubeSats will be deployed from the Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo”.

  • CURTIS *
  • KASHIWA *
  • MicroOrbiter-1 *

* In May 2018, as a new step to enhance the commercial utilization of Kibo, JAXA selected Space BD Inc. and Mitsui Bussan Aerospace Co., Ltd as the J-SSOD service provider.
Selection of Service Provider for Small Satellite Deployment from Kibo

Read more – JAXA: https://bit.ly/3VTqWVB

 A Spark Gap Transmitter, Characterized

When we think of a spark gap radio transmitter, most of us immediately imagine an early twentieth century ship’s radio room or similar. Most of us know these transmitters as the first radio systems, and from there we’ll probably also know that they were phased out when better circuits arrived, because of their wide bandwidth. So it’s rare in 2024 to find anyone characterizing a spark gap transmitter, as [Baltic Lab] has.

The circuit is simple enough, a high voltage passes through an RC network to a spark gap, the other side of which is a tuned circuit. The RC network and the spark gap form a simple low frequency relaxation oscillator, with the C being charged until the spark gap triggers, forcing the subsequent discharge of the capacitor and causing the spark to extinguish and the cycle to repeat. The resulting chain of high voltage pulses repeatedly energizes the tuned circuit, with each pulse causing a damped oscillation at its resonant frequency. The resulting RF signal is a crude AM tone which can be received fairly simply.

The mathematics behind it all is pretty interesting, revealing both the cause of the bandwidth spread in the low Q factor of the tuned circuit, and the presence of a large spurious frequency spike on an interaction with the capacitor in the RC circuit. It’s all in the video below the break, and we have to admit, it taught us something about radio we didn’t know.

WEDNESDAY EDITION: I acquired a BTECH UV 25X2 vhf/uhf 25 watt mini transceiver with color display in my travels. I put some powerpoles on it and will test it out tody in the truck and give you a little review. I need to reprogram it and will attempt to use CHIRP and the same cable as you use for their cheap walkies. More to come.....Red Sox looked bad yesterday, tickets available at the gate on a ahaome opener, that tells you something about last years team and how little they did off season to shore up the team.

Utah students use ham radio to connect with astronaut during eclipse

The solar eclipse might not have been fully visible from Utah, but that didn’t stop a group of Tooele students from having an astronomical experience on Monday, when they interviewed an astronaut aboard the International Space Station as it passed over Utah.

Students in the Tooele County School District were able to communicate with Matthew Dominick, a NASA flight engineer on Expedition 71 on the space station, through the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station program. The international program coordinates radio contact events for classrooms and communities to learn more about life in space and practice using communication and radio technologies.

Teachers and students gathered in Tooele’s Community Learning Center, which houses the district’s career and technical education programs. Members of the Logan-based Bridgerland Amateur Radio Club provided tech support for the event, which included constructing an antenna system on the center’s roof in order to connect to the space station.

The call started when the International Space Station was positioned above Utah, around 11:45 a.m. MDT. Clint Thomsen, the teacher who coordinated the event, switched on his radio and called out to the space station, which orbits around 250 miles above sea level. The crowd heard only static at first, but astronaut Dominick’s voice finally crackled through the auditorium’s sound system.

Students quizzed Dominick on his training to become an astronaut, the physical effects of being in space, how zero gravity would affect the flight of a paper airplane, what movie nights are like on the space station and whether there is a procedure in place for alien contact (Dominick said there isn’t).

Dominick also shared some interesting anecdotes from his life in space. One student asked what it was like to cry in zero gravity, and although Dominick reported he hadn’t yet had “a really good cry” in space, he said another astronaut had recently experienced something similar.

“The other day a friend of mine had some chili pepper in her eye, so we took a drink bag, squirted water out and filled up her eye socket with water, and it stayed there,” Dominick said. “It doesn’t run down her face, it just stays in her eyeball. It’s kind of fun to see, so I would imagine tears would just well up and create a giant ball of water in your eyeball.”

Dominick encouraged the students to find their niche in space exploration and pursue subjects they love.

“If you find out what you’re passionate about, you’ll do a much better job at it,” he said. “If you go do something you love, at the end, you’ll be so much better at it ... and we need all kinds of people with all kinds of talents up here to (work) from a diversity of backgrounds to make it go farther.”

Chaston Williams, one of the students who spoke with Dominick, said one of the best parts of the experience was connecting with the astronauts over their shared interest in radio technology.

TUESDAY EDITION: Red Sox home opener has nice weather for a change....I set up a LDG 100Pro2 tuner with the new FT710. Unlike using it with the Icom 7300 where the radio goes in tune mode at reduced power, the FT710 radio tune button does nothing. You must manually turn power down to 10 watts and push the tune button on the tuner, you think Yaesu would want to make life easy! The fan does turn off once in a while, I thought it ran continuosly at first. It still runs to often when just in receive mode....overall, a nice radio....I hear a lot of chatter about the new Mercury hf amplifiers, very expensive and a one year wait time to get them. A watt is a watt, I guess if you have the money to burn....

Solar eclipse signals opportunity for Parkersburg Amateur Radio Klub

PARKERSBURG — Today’s solar eclipse and its effect on radio signals will be studied at Parkersburg South High School in a collaboration with the Parkersburg Amateur Radio Klub.

A ham radio station will be set up from 12:30-4 p.m. in front of the school.

The Parkersburg South science department has coordinated the demonstration with Conard Richardson, the radio club’s vice president of technology, and Alex Cantu, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel and the senior Instructor of Parkersburg South Air Force Junior ROTC, who will conduct the demonstration. Cantu also is a recently licensed ham radio operator.

“We will have ham operators there to explain what we’re doing, in addition to helping anyone interested in becoming a ham,” Larry Dale, a member of the radio club, said.

The results taken during the eclipse will be reported to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration through NASA’s Citizen Science Program. NASA, which has encouraged ham radio operators for help in some science experiments, and the Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation group are encouraging ham radio operators across North America to help in this rare opportunity.

The public is encouraged to attend, Dale said. The event will be held in the front of the school on the lawn, he said.

“It’s going to be the last one here in the United States for what, 20 years,” Dale said.

While visibility is impacted by the weather, the solar eclipse in this region will start shortly before noon and end around 4:30 p.m. The peak will be around 3:15 p.m. with about 95% totality, according to the National Solar Observatory.

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon is between the sun and the earth. The sun’s corona is visible at totality.

After today’s activities, the radio club will hold its monthly meeting at 6:30 p.m. at Western Sizzlin’ Steakhouse, U.S. 50 and W.Va. and 68. Information will be available about how to become a ham radio operator.

Measuring solar eclipse impact on Ham radios in Scranton

SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Science students at the University of Scranton are getting a once-in-a-lifetime lesson Monday.

Through NASA-supported research, students are looking at how the solar eclipse impacts radio waves.

At the university’s state-of-the-art ham radio studio, there was lots of activity there. Students say it’s an incredible learning opportunity.

The studio was built in the fall of 2023 through an Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) grant awarded to Doctor Frissell, who is leading Monday’s research with students and ham radio

They’ve been collecting data of changes in the earth’s electrically charged upper atmosphere that occur during the eclipse.

This project is called the HAMSCI Solar Eclipse QSO party, and it’s one of just five projects selected by NASA for the study of the total solar eclipse.

“We have a lot of great guests here, a lot of traction at the university. It’s a really great opportunity to gather data because of the amount of coverage we are getting for this eclipse,” said University of Scranton electrical engineering student Thomas Pisano.

Students will be here working until 8:00 p.m. Monday.

Hamming it up at the eclipse (New York)

nside the Adirondack Sky Center and Observatory’s Roll-Off-Roof-Observatory on Friday, amid an auditory cloud of radio chatter, machine tones and static hum, Marc Staves picked up his ham radio mic and spoke into it.

“Whiskey. Alpha. Two. Echo. Whisky. Yankee. WA2EWY club station,” Staves said.

After giving his location in Tupper Lake to the net controller, he told people listening from around the East Coast about how amateur radio operators in the Tri-Lakes are preparing for the April 8 total solar eclipse. Tupper Lake is just south of center in the path of totality.

While they take in the rare sight of the moon blocking out the sun, Staves said they will also be capitalizing on the rare chance to study a total solar eclipse’s effects on the Earth’s ionosphere and providing that data to researchers at universities and NASA.

Read more – Adirondack Daily Enterprise: https://bit.ly/4aqi0vo

MONDAY EDITION: After watching some YouTube video's on the FT710, I finally got the 3d screen setup so it shows something half way intelligent. The more I play with this radio, the more I like it. especially at the entry level price range. The videos are really the way to go when setting up a radio like this, others have spent the time to really figure stuff out and present it so even I can understand it!...It's not a $3000 radio but for the money you can have a lot of fun with it....On another note, the women's college basketball has been great to watch, Caitlin Clark really is a good ball player. The skill level they have attained  is amazing to watch. I remember in high school the girls team played no defense and shot with two hands, you've come a long way baby!....Eclipse, well I've already seen a few in my day...it's like going to the circus, you only need to see it once. The best place to be during the eclipse is on 3928 this afternoon and listen to Joe-JEK's commentary as it happens live..

2024 ARRL Field Day Poster Released

A poster promoting 2024 ARRL Field Day has been released on the Field Day web page, www.arrl.org/field-day. The two-sided informational poster features this year's theme "Be Radio Active". It includes a space for clubs to fill in information about their planned activation so that members of their community can come visit the site.

More resources for promoting 2024 ARRL Field Day are being developed and will be available soon. ARRL Field Day always occurs on the fourth full weekend in June. This year, it happens on June 22 - 23.

ARRL Seeking Applicants for Assistant Education and Learning Manager

ARRL is working to engage the next generation of radio amateurs right in the classroom. Many young people have become active hams because of the ARRL Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology.

This donor-funded effort brings teachers from across the United States together to get them excited about radio through hands-on experiments. The Institute then trains them on how to take that excitement back to their classrooms as they incorporate amateur radio into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning.

Now, we're looking for the right candidate for a position that will help us grow that program. In a posting at www.arrl.org/employment-opportunities, potential candidates can find the entire list of criteria we're looking for in the Assistant Education and Learning Manager.

The position is perfect for someone with an education background, but the most important trait is being able to authentically share a passion for amateur radio, according to ARRL Education and Learning Manager Steve Goodgame, K5ATA. "We want someone energetic and passionate about amateur radio - willing to hit the streets at conferences to get teachers fired up. This person is going to help run the Teachers Institute and be a champion for engaging youth in amateur radio," he said.

Someone who has a passion for educating will be a great fit. According to the listing, the incumbent will develop schedules, choose material and coursework, and understand the needs of education program students. The Assistant Manager will work to facilitate and instruct Teachers Institute sessions.

If you're interested in the job, email Goodgame at sgoodgame@arrl.org. ARRL is an equal-opportunity employer.

Peter Fairlie's Meshtastic High-Altitude Relay Station Aims to Extend the Reach of His Home Node

Taking advantage of the mesh nature of Meshtastic, this simple relay station uses two directional antennas with a radio each.

Radio ham and maker Peter Fairlie has been experimenting with Meshtastic, the open source decentralized mesh communications network platform, in order to improve reception — by building and deploying a high-altitude relay station.

"I got to tell you, Meshtastic's been actually pretty incredible," Fairlie says of his initial experimentation with the platform, using a roof-mounted omnidirectional antenna. "You won't believe all the people I'm getting right now. Even got a guy that was about 70km [around 44 miles] away."

hat's a decent long-range reception, but Fairlie was looking for more — and set about turning two Heltec LoRa 32 V3 boards into a relay station. "The idea here is to set two of these up on the tower," Fairlie explains. "One is going to point down towards Toronto, and the other one is going to point the other way — and these two radios will mesh with the current radio."

The Meshtastic platform is well-suited to such a relay station design: the firmware loads onto low-cost off-the-shelf radio hardware and turns them into nodes in a mesh LoRa network, with the ability to then connect other devices via a given node over Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or USB connectivity. Rather than having to pick up, amplify, and retransmit an analog signal, then, Fairlie's repeater is fully digital — acting as two distinct nodes in the mesh, one offering a strong link to Fairlie's home setup and the other targeting Toronto and further afield.

"I've got two directional sector antennas on each side," Fairlie explains of the relay's design. "Each one is connected to a Meshtastic Heltec [V3], and basically this makes a long range repeater station. Whatever is coming in one end would be, through the mesh, relayed out to the other and vice versa."

The project is detailed in full in the above video, and on Fairlie's YouTube channel.

 

WEEKEND EDITION: Another shitty day on the island, damp and cloudy. The Club is providing communications for a YuKan Run 5K race today in Gloucester. I'm glad I will be in a warm truck as the runners pass by....

Ham Radio's Many Roles During Solar Eclipse

In one of nature's most spectacular visual displays, on April 8, 2024, the sun will align with the moon and the Earth, casting a shadow that will transit much of North America.

Spectacular Display and Gathering

Millions will gather along the path of totality - the section where the sun is fully blocked by the moon - to witness something that happens, on average, once every 375 years for any place on our planet. The moon's shadow path will begin over the South Pacific Ocean, and then it will cross into North America, passing over Mexico, the United States, and Canada. Weather permitting, the first location in continental North America that will experience totality is Mexico's Pacific coast, at around 11:07 a.m. PDT. The shadow will exit continental North America on the Atlantic coast of Newfoundland, Canada, at 5:16 p.m. NDT.

Ham radio will be there - operators will participate in scientific experiments, serve local communities that will be overrun with hundreds of thousands of visitors, and provide a valuable tool for communicating if the mobile phone networks become overloaded.

Science

Regular sun and moon watchers will be out in force while many scientists, astronomers, and amateur radio operators will be "working" the eclipse. ARRL has partnered with Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation (HamSCI), a NASA citizen science project, to encourage hams to send and receive signals to one another before, during, and after the eclipse. The project will be led by Nathaniel Frissell, W2NAF, a professor of Physics and Engineering at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania. HamSCI participants will share their radio data to catalog how the sudden loss of sunlight during totality affects their radio signals. All radio amateurs are welcome to participate in the ionospheric research that is being conducted. Information is available at the Solar Eclipse QSO Party on the HamSCI website.

NASA plans to point a large telescope at the eclipse and broadcast the entire event across North America. The agency will host live coverage of the eclipse from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. EDT (17:00 to 20:00 UTC) on April 8 on the NASA YouTube channel. There will be live views of the eclipse from watch parties across the country, and even from NASA's Glenn Research Center in Ohio, which happens to be inside the path of totality.

In addition to NASA's plans, the Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN), a collection of radars located at sites around the world, will bounce radio waves off of the ionosphere and analyze the returning signals. Their data will reveal changes in the ionosphere's density, temperature, and location.

There is also the Radio JOVE project, which is made up of a team of citizen scientists dedicated to documenting radio signals from space, and especially from Jupiter. During the total solar eclipse, Radio JOVE participants will focus on the sun. Using radio antenna kits that they set up themselves, they'll record solar radio bursts before, during, and after the eclipse.

EmComm

Emergency communications groups, including those affiliated with the Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®), will be active in the areas near totality. National Weather Service (NWS) offices are closely watching weather patterns in and around the eclipse path for any severe weather that could impact watchers and increase traffic. Many first responders, including law enforcement, medical personnel, and fire departments, will be ready to respond to any emergency that might occur during the eclipse. Those officials represent some of the served agencies that radio amateurs work to support.

Most ARRL Sections within the path of totality have been working with their local served agencies to provide communications volunteers through amateur radio. In New Hampshire, for example, where cell phone and road networks are expected to be overwhelmed, New Hampshire ARES has local groups activated in many communities.

Public Information Coordinator of the ARRL New Hampshire Section Skip Camejo, AC1LC, said members across the state are ready. "A small team pulled from several NH-ARES groups will be providing limited communications support for the American Red Cross, using both HF and VHF. We will have an RV-based station in Lancaster, NH, and another in Pittsburg, both at locations provided by the New Hampshire Department of Transportation," he said.

In the event of a mass-casualty incident or a need for emergency sheltering, the teams will travel to the scene with a state police escort. They're expecting 10,000 to 50,000 visitors on Monday in that community alone.

Other ARES groups have been preparing and drilling over the last few months. In the ARRL North Texas Section, a set of criteria has been established as reportable to the local served agencies' emergency operations centers. Look for more details on ham radio involvement during the eclipse in next week's The ARRL Letter.

Outreach

Many groups are holding eclipse festivals. Some amateur radio groups and clubs are taking advantage of these gatherings to get radio in front of the curious public. Vice Director of the ARRL Hudson Division Ed Wilson, N2XDD, is preparing an informational display for an event at his local library.

The Suffolk County Radio Club on Long Island, New York, will be participating in the Solar Eclipse QSO Party from the Moriches Branch Library.

Wilson saw radio as a perfect addition to the library's eclipse activities. "Another club member and I went down to the librarian and spoke to her about the HamSCI event. We asked if we would be able to set up a ham radio station during the course of the day. They loved the idea and approved it, and they invited us to some other events that they're having in the next few months," he said.

For clubs that may have a public presence during the eclipse, there are resources on the ARRL website detailing how to help explain the hobby to the uninitiated.

The total solar eclipse will be the last of its kind for more than two decades in the contiguous U.S. The next total solar eclipse on U.S. soil won't occur until March 30, 2033, and it will be viewable only in Alaska.

Amateur Radio Newsline Report

HAMS ON ALERT AFTER BALTIMORE BRIDGE DISASTER

NEIL/ANCHOR: Our top story is the ongoing recovery following the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in the US city of Baltimore. Hams were put on alert and several days into the recovery, severe weather rolled in. Kevin Trotman N5PRE has this developing story.

KEVIN: A call went out for heightened awareness among radio amateurs in the Baltimore, Maryland area as the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed on Tuesday, March 26th, after being struck by a cargo ship near the Port of Baltimore. Shortly after the early morning incident, Chris Van Winkle, AB3WG, manager of the ARRL Maryland DC section. reached out to ARES members section wide, asking that they stand by. Meanwhile, Maryland and Baltimore officials declared a state of emergency.

As Newsline went to production on the 4th of April, hams remained on alert as severe weather pounded the region, posing potential complications to recovery operations near the harbor. Sid Caesar, NH7C, the assistant section manager and public information coordinator, said section leadership continued to be vigilant, engaging in incident planning in case the need arose to activate any amateur radio support in the days ahead.

This is Kevin Trotman N5PRE.

(SID CAESAR, NH7C)

**
NETWORK OUTAGE DURING STORM HIGHLIGHTS HAMS' IMPORTANCE

NEIL/ANCHOR: As weather-tracking and communications technology grow more sophisticated, it’s easy to think that system failures won't be a problem in an emergency. In the American Midwest, however, weather-watchers - and hams - got a dose of reality, as we hear from Randy Sly W4XJ.

RANDY: Several areas across the United States received a wakeup call on the night of April 1st when a national data network outage knocked out radar and warning capabilities in many cities just as severe weather began hitting the central part of the country.

In the St. Louis region, just as a storm system brought heavy rainfall, hail, and even a tornado to the area, the Weather Forecast Office’s radar and warning systems went dark. Meteorologists had to rely on other resources while calling on the Kansas City office to provide backup.

Michael Musher, a meteorologist and spokesman for the National Weather Service, told the media, <quote> "During this outage, some warning services were impacted,” <endquote> he indicated that they are working with network vendors to determine the root cause for the 5 hour blackout.

Radio amateurs were active across the heartland. For example, Fox 19 TV in Cincinnati reported ham activity for a tornado in Mason County, Kentucky. A former SKYWARN Amateur Radio Coordinator for the Washington DC/Baltimore Weather Forecast Office told AR Newsline that the best thing we can do for the National Weather Service is always be ready to serve.

This is Randy Sly W4XJ.

(NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE, NY TIMES, KSDK TV5, FOX CHANNEL 19)

**

AMSAT-DL ADVANCES MICROWAVE AMATEUR RADIO PAYLOAD IDEA

NEIL/ANCHOR: AMSAT-DL has outlined a proposed microwave amateur radio payload for a geostationary satellite, in response to requests from the IARU and the European Space Agency.

The proposal favors positioning that would include eastern European countries and large portions of eastern North America with the western limit including Ontario and points east. In a 31-slide presentation, AMSAT DL's Kai Siebels, DHØSK, and Matthias Bopp, DD1US, outline a plan that they believe would include the most suitable orbit, comparing the intended coverage to that provided by the successful OSCAR-100 satellite.

The suggested main downlink would be in the 10 GHz band, while the uplink could be on a number of different bands, including 23cm and 13cm, to encourage experimentation. AMSAT-DL also said that the mission would become an excellent resource for disaster and emergency communications, noting that a GEO satellite transponder was used during the earthquake that struck Turkey in 2023.

(AMATEUR RADIO DAILY)

**
HAMS AID EXPECTED VEHICLE JAMS AT ECLIPSE EPICENTER

NEIL/ANCHOR: While hams prepare to get on the air on Monday, April 8th, to assist with HamSCI's ionospheric studies during the solar eclipse over North America, one group of hams in the area of totality will have some more terrestrial reasons to be active. Jack Parker W8ISH explains.

JACK: Members of the Mid-State Amateur Radio Club in Johnson County Indiana have been put on high alert for the upcoming Total Eclipse on April 8th. County EMA officials requested backup ham radio communications in case their county 800 MHz radio system becomes overloaded during disaster communications.

With over 300,000 out-of-town visitors descending on Franklin, Indiana, the Total Eclipse Epicenter, the sheriff is planning on all cell service and possibly their radio system to be overloaded. When all else fails, that’s when the Mid-State ARC Auxcom Team comes into play.

Nearly two dozen hams will be on hand at six county-wide deployment sites to handle normal and emergency traffic if needed. The hams have been part of the planning task force since last fall. Johnson County has two major interstates and several state highways that carry traffic through the county and around central Indiana. Johnson county roads are expected to be jammed with traffic before and especially after the eclipse. In August of 2017, Kentucky had gridlocked highways for hours following the eclipse.

Johnson County is planning for all contingencies including lost communications. As of last week the Indiana governor declared a state of emergency until after eclipse weekend. That’s why if All Else Fails, there will be amateur radio.

This is Jack Parker, W8ISH

**
CANDIDATES PREP FOR GERMANY'S NEW LICENSE

NEIL/ANCHOR: In Germany, the DN9 licence is a GO! The race is on for hopeful would-be radio amateurs to get their applications in for a test for the new Class N entry-level 2m/70cm/10m licence.

Unlike in some other countries, in Germany all licence examinations are run by the regulator - the BundesNetzArgentur or BNetzA for short and places in the first test sessions are limited. On March 20th the regulator opened the flood gates through an announcement on the social media platform "X" for applications for the tests to be submitted. The first test will take place in Dortmund on June 24th the day the new class of licence becomes legal. Further tests are scheduled during June in Nuremberg on the 25th and at Ham Radio Friedrichshafen on the 29th. Ten further tests will take place in July at various locations around Germany.

Here's to lots of activity from the new hams as soon as they have their licences -perhaps during Ham Radio Friedrichshafen or soon after when they have bought their new radios at the show?

(BNetzA)

**

M17 PROJECT LAUNCHES NEW SOFTWARE, DIGITAL VOICE PROTOCOLS

NEIL/ANCHOR: The open-source developers of the M17 project have been busy and they recently announced new releases. We have details from Stephen Kinford N8WB.

STEPHEN: New open-source software, hardware and UHF/VHF digital voice protocols have been launched by the M17 Project with the support of Amateur Radio Digital Communications.

Further refinements to the amateur radio digital communications protocol include a new remote radio unit, or RRU, that is described as a "comprehensive, UHF FM/M17 repeater in a box." According to a joint press release from the M17 project and ARDC, the unit is designed to accommodate close antenna placement, producing better and more reliable signal strength. Other improvements include the ability to convert a 9600-baud capable radio into an M17 transceiver through the use of the M17 modem; and an Open HT transceiver, which uses SDR technology for QRP dual-band operation.

The March 29th press release announced that an RRU transceiver is also in development with the goal of providing a comprehensive FM/M17 repeater for remote sites or masts. It is expected to feature direct antenna connection that eliminates the need for a long coax.

This is Stephen Kinford N8WB.

**
EXPANDED HAMVENTION HOURS FOR VOICE OF AMERICA MUSEUM

NEIL/ANCHOR: If your plans to visit Xenia, Ohio next month for Hamvention include a side-trip to the National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting in nearby West Chester, you'll be pleased to know that the museum will once again have expanded hours. On Thursday, May 16th and Friday, May 17th, you can visit from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., on Saturday, May 18th, from noon to 9 p.m., and on Sunday, May 19th, from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is $10. WC8VOA, the ham radio station of the West Chester Amateur Radio Association, will be on the air. Visit wc8voa.org or voamuseum.org for more details.

(JOCELYN BRAULT, KD8VRX/VA2VRX)

**

NOMINATE OUR NEXT YOUNG HAM OF THE YEAR

NEIL/ANCHOR: Do you know a promising young radio amateur who'd be a good candidate for the Bill Pasternak Memorial Young Ham of the Year award? Let Newsline know! Candidates must live in the continental United States and be 18 years of age or younger. Tell our judges about your nominee's talent, promise and commitment to the spirit of ham radio. This is your chance to help honor and acknowledge that person who will, no doubt, go on to teach and inspire others. Find the nomination form on our website arnewsline.org under the "AWARDS" tab. Nominations close on May 31st.

**

NEW YORK HAM IS WORLD'S FIRST CANADIAN CENTURY CLUB WINNER

NEIL/ANCHOR: A ham in New York has won a top honor from Radio Amateurs of Canada - and he's the first recipient of this new award. We hear about him from Dave Parks WB8ODF.

DAVE: Receiving a top award from the Radio Amateurs of Canada was twice the honor for Steven Hines, N2PQJ. He is not only a winner of the Canadian Century Club Award but the first amateur in the world to receive it.
The New York amateur had been chasing stations in Canada for the longest time in hopes of one day qualifying for its Trans-Canada Award. That award was discontinued, however, because its requirements were deemed outdated. For one thing, it failed to recognize the northern territory of Nunavut, which became Canada's third territory in 1999.

Enter the Canadian Century Club Award, its replacement. To qualify, amateurs need to show evidence of two-way contacts with a minimum of 100 amateur stations in Canada, with between 1 and 20 in each of the 10 provinces and between 1 and 20 in any of the three territories.

Steven's achievement is celebrated in the latest issue of Canadian Amateur Magazine, where he is pictured holding the award. Congratulations on your persistence - and patience!

According to the RAC website, the challenge doesn't end there. The RAC said it is considering the addition of endorsements for 200, 300 or more stations.

This is Dave Parks WB8ODF.

(CANADIAN AMATEUR MAGAZINE, RAC)

**

GRANT SUPPORTS UPCOMING JARVIS ISLAND DXPEDITION

NEIL/ANCHOR: A DXpedition to an environmentally sensitive Pacific island has just received a substantial grant to help with the activation, as we hear from Ralph Squillace KK6ITB.

RALPH: The Northern California DX Foundation is providing a $75,000 grant to the Dateline DX Association for its Jarvis Island National Wildlife Reserve Dxpedition this summer. The N5J team recently announced that the trip received the much-needed go-ahead from the US Fish & Wildlife Service in Hawaii. Government approval was needed for an activation from this rare entity because it is an environmentally sensitive location. Three research biologists from the US Fish and Wildlife Service will accompany the team.

The permit was issued recently to the Dateline group's George AA7JV and Don N1DG.

The activation of N5J will be done two ways: Four operators will install six Radio-in-a-Box stations on the island, operating CW, SSB and FT8 on HF and 6 metres. Radio-in-a-box enables operation remotely from a boat when land access is restricted.

Twenty-five other operators from Asia, North America and Europe will be on the air remotely via satellite using CW and FT8 in fox and hound mode.

The 13-day DXpedition is tentatively set for the 1st of August and is subject to change, depending on the weather.

Jarvis Island has not been on the air since 1990. It is part of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument

This is Ralph Squillace KK6ITB.

(WIA, JARVIS ISLAND DXPEDITION WEBSITE)

**

NJ AMATEUR RECOGNIZED FOR EMERGENCY RESPONSE ROLE

NEIL/ANCHOR: In the US, a federal agency that oversees volunteerism and community service has honored a New Jersey radio amateur for his leadership in regional emergency response. Sel Embee KB3TZD has that story.

SEL: Congratulations to James Kennedy, K2PHD, who received a bronze President's Volunteer Service Award from AmeriCorps [pron: A MERRY CORE], the agency of the US government that promotes community service and volunteerism. James received the award on the 26th of March in recognition of having given 100 hours of assistance to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA. He serves FEMA Region Two as a volunteer regional coordinator, meaning he has oversight of activities and response up and down the coast of the state of New Jersey.

Apart from his FEMA responsibilities, James serves as Northern New Jersey ARES section emergency coordinator in the ARRL Hudson Division. He is also the manager of the Community Emergency Management Response Team for the township of Roxbury.

Licensed as a ham since 1960, James served during the Cold War era as a US Coast Guard and commercial radiotelegraph and signals intercept operator.

This is Sel Embee KB3TZD.

(TAPINTOROXBURY)

**

WORLD OF DX

In the World of DX, be listening for Tev, TA1HZ, operating holiday style as 8Q7HZ from the Maldives, IOTA Number AS-013 between the 6th and the 15th of April. He will be using SSB and FT8/FT4 on 30, 20, 17, 15, 12 and 10 metres. See QRZ.com for QSL details.

Special callsign II1GM [EYE EYE ONE G M] is on the air through the 30th of April to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Guglielmo [pron: GOO YEE EL MO] Marconi. You will hear different operators calling from different call areas, such as II1GM/1, II1GM/2, and so on. See QRZ.com for QSL information.

The D.A.R.C. special event callsign DA24WARD is on the air through to the 30th of April, marking World Amateur Radio Day. See QRZ.com for QSL details.

Listen for Tom, K7TLM, and Leslie, KD7YZE, operating as E51TLM from Rarotonga, OC-013, in the South Cook Islands from the 7th through to the 13th of April. They will operate QRP on 10 metres SSB and slow CW. See QRZ.com for QSL details.

(425 DX BULLETIN)

**
KICKER: EASTER, A HOLIDAY TO EGG ON THE RADIO HUNTERS

NEIL/ANCHOR: Radio has a long tradition of hunting, whether it is for a rare DX, a SOTA summit or an island. Our final story looks at some of the more unconventional hunts that went on during Easter Weekend -- hunts that involved anything but Easter eggs. Jim Damron N8TMW has that story.

JIM: On Easter weekend, QRP operators in the US Pacific Northwest went hunting - their quarry was the Sasquatch, the hairy, mythical forest creature also known as Bigfoot. On the Friday just before Easter Sunday, the annual Sasquatch Stomp stepped off, organized by the Pacific North West QRP Group. Designed for CW operators, the contest's other distinction was its method of scoring. It awarded negative points - and the lowest points determined the winner.

Meanwhile, radio enthusiasts throughout Europe were busy hunting too: They tuned their dials in search of radio pirates. This contest was just for fun, as it has always been since it was launched during Easter holiday season in 2016 by a group known as Radioactives of Middle Finland. Jann, one of the organisers, explained to Newsline in an email that the Easter holiday break in Europe gives people the free time to hunt for as many unlicensed broadcast stations as they like. Pirate stations, also known as free radio stations, are popular in much of Europe and the playful competition brings extra holiday cheer - not to mention good listening.

Janne and his friend Jan-Mikael keep the rules simple. Participants didn't even need a radio - an online SDR receiver works just fine. With events like these for holiday hunters, who needs Easter eggs?

This is Jim Damron N8TMW.

(RADIOACTIVES OF MIDDLE FINLAND)

FRIDAY EDITION: Cold and damp start today but the wind has finally subsided...3910 is active again in New England, they mentioned a Swap Net starting on, I believe, Wednesday evenings. KD1ZY, Warren, is alive and well in Eustis, Maine cranking out 1500 watts....From Boy Scouts to Space Science: Amateur Radio’s Role in Shaping Dr Frissell’s Career as a Scientist video....

Harnessing the 2024 Eclipse for Ionospheric Discovery with HamSCI

As the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024, draws closer, a vibrant community of enthusiastic amateur radio operators, known as “hams,” is gearing up for an exciting project with the Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation (HamSCI) group. Our goal is clear and ambitious: to use the Moon's shadow as a natural laboratory to uncover the intricacies of the ionosphere, a layer of Earth’s atmosphere crucial for radio communication.

This rare event offers an unmatched opportunity to observe the ionosphere's response to the temporary absence of solar radiation during the eclipse. HamSCI, a collective of citizen scientists and professional researchers, plans to seize this opportunity by conducting radio experiments across North America.

Our mission centers on two main activities: the Solar Eclipse QSO Party (SEQP) and the Gladstone Signal Spotting Challenge. For the SEQP, amateur radio operators across the continent will aim to establish as many radio contacts (called QSOs) as possible before, during, and after the eclipse, creating a lively scene filled with radio signals. This effort will generate a vast network of observations on radio wave behavior under the eclipse's unique conditions. The SEQP, a competitive yet friendly event, encourages wide participation and adds an element of excitement.

The Gladstone Signal Spotting Challenge, named in honor of ham radio operator Philip Gladstone for his significant contributions to radio science, adopts a focused approach. Participants will use special equipment to monitor select radio frequencies, aiding in our observation of the ionosphere's reaction to the eclipse. This crucial aspect of our project validates scientific models of the ionosphere and enriches our understanding of its interaction with solar radiation.

Amateur radio enthusiasts of all backgrounds and skill levels are invited to join these events, united by a shared enthusiasm for scientific exploration and a collective curiosity about the upper atmosphere. Through the support of the amateur radio community, HamSCI demonstrates the profound impact of citizen science in contributing to our scientific knowledge.

As the eclipse ends, our analytical work begins. We will delve into the collected data, interpret it, and publish our findings. These efforts are expected to significantly advance our understanding of the ionosphere and showcase the value of community involvement in scientific discovery.

HamSCI is an organization that aims to inspire wonder and encourage people to participate in scientific discovery. The community of citizen scientists associated with HamSCI believe that the seamless fusion of science and amateur radio is an excellent example of what can be achieved when people come together, driven by curiosity and a passion for exploration.

For more information about HamSCI and details on the SEQP and the Gladstone Signal Spotting Challenge, please visit:

 

THURSDAY EDITION: I have a vet appt. at 930 for the dog, first chance to try out the 4 wheel drive in the F250.....it's blowing 50mph steady here on the rock, 1 inch of ice and snow mix, slippery dricing condition...sea foam at the beach!...no ham news yet,,,

cheap DMR radio...

WEDNESDAY EDITION: I found the problem with the Astron power supply, I am embarrassed. The problem I was having was the Icom 7300 was not showing full power out, about 81 watts on my external meter. I thought it was the radio but put another power supply on it and sure enough it put out 100 watts. So I "assumed" the power supply or short power lead I made with a anderson powerpole connector might be the issue. I put the Fluke meter on the supply and it read  only 11.6 volts at idle. The Astron meter said 13.5 volts....oh yea, a while back the voltage reading was low so I assumed all is well and adjusted the Astron meter to read 13.6 or so. My mistake! On the side of the power supply there is a screw to adjust the voltage, I turned it up to read 13.8 on the Fluke meter and then adjusted the Astron meter to the same. What was happening was the Icom kicked back power and even shut off some times when I tried to run the radio at 100 watts on 11 volts....lesson learned, check the voltage on your power supplies with a real meter, never assume anything.....Overall a nice power suply but the leds in the two meters are two bright, they look like two headlights when I go in the radio room, another project?

Join with thousands of your fellow Amateurs as part of the largest crowd-sourced event for Amateur Radio scientific exploration ever! 

The SEQP is part of The Festivals of Eclipse Ionospheric Science and is for learning more about how the ionosphere works. Use any mode, any band for all or part of the day!

Participation can be from everywhere – you need not be near the path of the eclipse to contribute valuable data by participating.

  • Are you a contester? For details on the SEQP contest and rules go to hamsci.org/contest-info. Don’t forget to send in your log!
  • For the Gladstone Signal Spotting Challenge using CW, WSPR and FST4W modes go to hamsci.org/contest-info.
  • If you’re an SWL or AM DX’er, there is The Medium Wave Recording Event for you as well! Go to hamsci.org/mw-recordings/.
  • or the Gladstone Signal Spotting Challenge using CW, WSPR and FST4W modes go to hamsci.org/contest-info.
  • If you’re an SWL or AM DX’er, there is The Medium Wave Recording Event for you as well! Go to hamsci.org/mw-recordings/.

Or just get on the air and help provide the data to better understand the ionosphere.

Save the date – Monday, 8 April 2024

Get on the air! 1400-2400 UTC

Do it for science! Any band/any mode (except the WARC bands)

Students to Talk to International Space Station

A group of lucky students will have the opportunity to chat with an astronaut on the International Space Station on Wednesday, thanks to a program facilitated through Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Five middle schools will be represented in the conversation, which will be held with NASA astronaut and current ISS occupant Matthew Dominick.

The exciting interaction is part of the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station program, which connects ISS astronauts with students using radio technology. Organizers chose ERAU as a participant for the 2023-24 school year, giving the school the chance to bring in students from Volusia County to join in.

The participating students have already been learning about the technology being used and about the program in the months leading up to their chat. They'll finally get the chance to talk to Matthew Dominick as the ISS passes over Central Florida at 11:22 am on Wednesday. At speeds of around 17.5k miles per hour, the ISS does a full orbit of the earth approximately every hour-and-a-half.

Other 'educational contacts', as the program describes them, are held through the radio program with students across the globe. The next chats after the ERAU one on Wednesday cover such locations as Russia, France, and Italy.

Astronaut Matthew Dominick joined NASA in 2017 after ten years in the United States Navy. He is one of seven crew members currently aboard the ISS, having launched on March 4th as part of a SpaceX flight. His career experience includes over 1,600 hours of flight time, 400 carrier-arrested landings, and 61 combat missions, according to his NASA profile.

 

TUESDAY EDITION: No radio yesterday, I spent the day with the yl enduring more tests....today I have a nice Astron 35 amp switching supply that is malfunctioning, not that old. I guess that will be the project of the day...

Amateur operators of ham radios chase storms, offer service

They were once a vital means of communication around the world, until telephones and then the internet arrived – but they still offer public service, while having fun interacting with one another.

They’re ham radio operators, and April 18 is World Amateur Radio Day, celebrating an occasion in 1925 when the International Amateur Radio Union was formed in Paris.

The theme for 2024’s event, set for April 18, is “A Century of Connections: Celebrating 100 years of Amateur Radio Innovation, Community, and Advocacy.”

Bill Schiller lived in Tahlequah for 31 years and worked as a professor of psychology at Northeastern State University. After he retired 10 years ago, Schiller moved to Colorado, but is planning on moving back to Tahlequah soon.

“I’ve been a licensed [operator] since 1961 when I was 15 years old. I could talk to Europe and Africa before there was even a transatlantic telephone cable,” Schiller said. “It’s still a hobby of mine.”

Schiller said there are “ham radio nets,” and before the internet and email, hams used to handle messages for folks needing to contact people in places where no phones were available.

“In high school, during the Vietnam War, we would set up in a major department store in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania – where I lived at the time – and people would fill out radiograms and via radio, get those to Vietnam, Germany – the troops over there,” Schiller said. “There are still local nets with a bunch of people from Arkansas and Tahlequah and Missouri, and I still get on there.”

The group meets at 11:30 every weekday and handles messages back and forth.

“When [Hurricane] Katrina hit New Orleans, I was on the radio and some people from there were trying to get a message through to Chicago and it got routed through to me. I was able to get a message through to their relatives that they were OK,” Schiller said.

Schiller was a storm spotter in Cherokee County in disaster management and would coordinate via radio with the Tulsa weather service.

“In Colorado, it is used mostly for search and rescue in the mountains because there is no cell service up in these mountains,” Schiller said.

Gary Way lives in Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma, and he’s a member of a local radio club in Shawnee.

“There’s something about picking up a radio and talking into an antenna you built and speaking to somebody in Tokyo,” Way said. “Once, I was talking to a London cabbie and he was telling me the hardest parts about his job.”

Way is in the emergency management aspect of the hobby and does storm spotting.

“We do ‘after the event’ communications,” Way said. “It’s like we always say, ‘When everything else doesn’t work, we still talk.’”

After a tornado hit Seminole, Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management sent the club members to help with the clean up because the telephone system wasn’t working, Way said.

“We put one person with each work team, another person with the radio and somebody running notes to city management to keep them updated,” Way said.

How storm spotting works is, an operator speaks to a “repeater” and the machine repeats it out over the air. Those in cars doing the spotting can communicate back to the repeater, Way said.

“Anybody with a radio can tune into that frequency and can find out what’s going on,” Way said.

The repeater transmits about 20 milliseconds behind the person speaking, and it sounds like real time, Way said.

“The only problem is, it’s a huge footprint and so there are a zillion people listening. So you have to be selective on what you talk about,” Way said. “In the event of a storm, we are trained through Federal Emergency Management Agency that if you have a fatality, you don’t tell there is a fatality at a certain address.”

The Shawnee club has been around for 76 years. Way got interested in radios 20 years ago because he hurt his back and it was easy to get into, Way said.

“Radio operators tend to be service oriented,” Way said. “We have a group that works independent of Pottawatomie County emergency management and Shawnee emergency management.”

The neatest thing about his experience with the radio club was working with Tecumseh High School’s technology department and making arrangements for the students to talk with the International Space Station, Way said.

“We learned how to do tracking programs so we could keep the antennae aimed at the satellite,” Way said. “On the third try, we were able to talk with them and the kids got to ask questions of the [astronauts], and it was fun.”

Gary Courtney said on the TDP Facebook page that there are requirements before a person can become a ham operator.

“You must study for, and pass, a Federal Communications Commission test in order to legally use a transmitter. Upon passing the test, you will receive your license and unique call letters of your short wave station,” Courtney said. “You will also be expected to follow a strict protocol – and manners – while on the air.”

On April 18-19, radio amateurs are invited to take to the airwaves to enjoy “our global friendship with other amateurs, and to show our skills and capabilities to the public,” states the National Association for Amateur Radio site.

Monitoring the Moon when it happens: Ham radio scientists to monitor eclipse

Amateur radio enthusiasts set to test how far radio messages can go

CLEVELAND — The upcoming eclipse offers all sorts of opportunities for us to discover more about how our universe works.

While many will watch the Moon and Sun share the spotlight that day, some students at Case Western Reserve University are focused on the space between, specifically the hundreds of miles far above the clouds but below outer space known as the ionosphere.

Members of the Case Amateur Radio Club, known as W8EDU, are among those across the country and the globe set to test what happens when the Moon gets in the way of the sun and how that impacts (or doesn't) radio communications.

It's all a part of the Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation known as HamSCI.

As W8EDU President Adam Goodman explained, the ionosphere is the stretch of the earth's atmosphere where GPS and radio signals travel and can be difficult to study.

"It’s too high for planes to go but too low for spaceships to be in there," the fourth-year electrical engineering student said. "It’s this very awkward area."

Goodman explained that ham radio enthusiasts are set to communicate with each other during the eclipse to see just how far radio messages can travel during an eclipse.

"We just got so lucky with this experiment," he said. "We’re going to see who can receive signals at what time and therefore be able to study does the eclipse increase our ability or decrease our ability [to transmit and receive messages]?"

"There’s this mysterious layer around the Earth that allows us to hear people around the world and we don’t know how it works 100% and we’re going to learn new things about it from this research," electrical engineering master's student Maris Usis added.

Totality for the solar eclipse is slated to begin a little after 3 p.m. on Monday, April 8.

Those in the club admit they're not sure what to expect during the experiment and once all the data is gathered.

"That’s part of the fun," applied mathematics Ph.D. student Rachel Boedicker said. "That’s why we do science. Studying the ionosphere tells us more about that communication channel and this is a good time to do that because we have one isolated event we can control."

MONDAY EDITION: We had a great Easter day, great meal, a healthy family, and warm enough to sit out out the deck and suck in some vitamin D....

I got the monitor hooked up last night, I notice the fan runs a lot on the ft710 on RX. I guess a common complaint.

EASTER EDITION: I ordered a ft710 on Friday before noon and got it the next day before noon, amazing delivery from Dave up at HRO in Salem, NH. I played with the receiver today and the bands were very busy on 10-20 due to a contest but I played with the settings and got it sounding pretty good. tomorrow I will set up a tuner with it and adjust the TX side of the radio. If amazon shows up Sunday, I will have the cable I need for the monitor and I will give that a whirl...my wife is going to flip, a station in every bedroom...

Amateur Radio Newsline Report

**
NETWORK NEWS REPORT DISCLOSES RETAILERS' SALE OF ILLEGAL JAMMERS

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: Our top story comes from a US broadcast network, which reported recently about illegal sales of radio jammers in the US. Kent Peterson KCØDGY brings us up to date.

KENT: In the US, the Federal Communications Commission has revealed that the agency has been investigating a number of online retailers and other sellers over possible marketing of wireless radio frequency jammers, which are illegal under federal law.

The disclosure by the FCC's Will Wiquist came following a report by NBC News that wireless jammers that were being offered for sale were being marketed as devices to interfere with the operation of drones. Federal law prohibits both the sale and use of devices that deliberately interfere with the signals of GPS units, mobile phones and other consumer devices. Such jamming devices have the potential to interfere as well with security cameras, Wi-Fi and emergency communications.

The FCC posts an explanation of its policy on its website, saying: [quote]: “Unlike other radio transmitting equipment, jamming equipment cannot be authorized by the FCC because the main purpose of jamming equipment is to interfere with radio communications." [endquote]

The FCC made its revelation about conducting probes only after the news network released its own report about the sales of the jammers by more than a dozen companies.

This is Kent Peterson KCØDGY.

(NBC, CNN, FCC)

**
POTA COMPLETES GLOBAL PARK RELABELING, CHINA RETURNS TO PROGRAM

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: The Parks on the Air program had a welcome announcement recently for fans of portable operation. Jim Meachen ZL2BHF shares this development.

JIM: There's good news for POTA hunters: As POTA completes its conversion of labels to conform to the ISO-3166-2 standard, China has returned to participating in Parks on the Air. China's re-entry follows a number of discussions to resolve what POTA describes as "simple language barriers." According to documentation on the POTA website, the misunderstanding over POTA's reorganisation of its code system resulted in an unfortunate breakdown in communications because of these language issues

On Monday, March 25th, POTA announced on its website: [quote] "We are happy to be able to reactivate China so quickly!" [endquote]

This is Jim Meachen ZL2BHF.

(POTA)

**
SILENT KEY: HAMVENTION 2022 AWARD RECIPIENT, ADAM FARSON VA7OJ/AB7OJ

ANCHOR: An amateur who was a respected re for technical expertise on a wide range of HF transceivers and amplifiers - and was honored at Hamvention two years ago -- has become a Silent Key. We hear about him from Jack Parker W8ISH.

JACK: Hams everywhere sought out the wisdom and expertise of Adam Farson, VA7OJ/AB7OJ, whether they needed guidance on buying a particular HF radio or an amplifier. Adam's website and his array of published articles in different journals, contained years of his wisdom and hard work. Adam died on the morning of March 12th. A friend, Matt Erickson, KK5DR, wrote in a QRZ.com forum that Adam had been in failing health since the 1st of January, complicated by a relapse of pneumonia.

Much of Adam's technical expertise is shared on his website, which he created more than three decades ago. Matt said the site would continue to be maintained online for a time by the North Shore Amateur Radio Club where Adam was a longtime member. The retired telecomm engineer was a senior life member of the IEEE and was first licensed in 1962 with the callsign ZS1ZG while studying at the University of Cape Town.

In 2022, Adam received the Technical Achievement Award at Hamvention and was celebrated for his published work and for providing one of the internet resource amateurs turn to most for high technical details about a variety of radios.

This is Jack Parker W8ISH.

(QRZ.COM, ARRL)

**

NASA SUNGRAZER PROGRAM HONORS HAM FOR COMET-HUNTING SUCCESS

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: NASA's Sungrazer program is honoring an amateur radio operator in Australia for having tracked down previously unknown comets by studying spacecraft imagery. We hear about him from John Williams VK4JJW.

JOHN: Congratulations to Peter Berrett, VK3PB, who has been recognised by the NASA Sungrazer programme as one of the top successful volunteer comet-hunters. Sungrazer is a NASA-funded citizen science programme that encourages anyone to participate in the discovery and reporting of previously unknown comets. According to Sungrazer, Peter was the first to locate a comet in imagery from the Parker Solar probe launched by NASA in 2018. Using a computer programme he wrote for this purpose, he has also identified comets in archived images that were collected by four spacecraft.

NASA Sun & Space made the announcement about Peter earlier this month on social media. Viewers of Amateur Logic TV may be most familiar with Peter through his previous appearances there.

This is John Williams VK4JJW.

(STARGAZER PROJECT)

**
SKYWARN TEAM TESTS RESILIENCE OF SIMPLEX OPERATION

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: In western Pennsylvania, a team of SKYWARN operators has been testing the resilience of simplex operation to prepare for emergencies. Randy Sly, W4XJ, spoke to one of the organizers.

RANDY: What would you do if you wanted to check into the local SKYWARN net with a severe storm report and the repeaters in your area suddenly went down? The obvious answer is working simplex...but how and where?

The Southwest District Skywarn Team Of Western Pennsylvania has started working on a more strategic answer by conducting a monthly series of simplex drills to coordinate frequencies and best operating practices in case of a scenario like this. Eddie Misiewicz (Mi-shé-vitz - short e), KB3YRU, president of the group, told AR Newsline, <quote> “We are working on and improving a communications plan one step at a time. In addition to improving radios, mast height and antennas, we have also learned to assign portable and mobile stations to strategic locations and positions.” <endquote> He said the hilly terrain and ridges in the area are presenting some significant challenges for an effective solution to ensure better simplex coverage.

The Southwest District SKYWARN team is also spreading the word at hamfests and other events about using simplex in emergency situations. They are inviting their fellow amateurs to prepare ahead of time for severe weather events while developing the right equipment and skills for successful simplex operations whether HF, VHF or UHF. The next drill is scheduled to be held Saturday, April 13th at 10 a.m. Eastern Time.

This is Randy Sly, W4XJ

**
IOTA GRANT PROGRAM EXPANDS TO MORE LOCATIONS

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: Island on the Air has expanded a program that will help fund activations of more rare locations. Jeremy Boot G4NJH tells us what this means.

JEREMY: The Islands on the Air DXpedition Fund created last year to support activations in rare locations with no activity for at least 15 years has expanded its qualifications to include additional islands and island groups.

The fund's original announcement last September said it would provide grants to assist operations from IOTA references confirmed by fewer than one-quarter of IOTA members in the last decade. This has now been broadened to include operations to those locations confirmed by fewer than 30 percent of IOTA members on IOTA's Most Wanted List. Both categories must have had no activations for at least 15 years.

IOTA Ltd. believes that having two categories will provide an advantage for DXpeditions to an estimated 250 IOTA groups. Applicants should note the rarity of the IOTA reference they plan to activate, how long they will be there, how many operators they will have, the estimated number of contacts they expect to log, the bands to be used and, of course, the estimated cost of the DXpedition.

For an application and more details, visit the IOTA website using the link in the text version of this week's Newsline script.

This is Jeremy Boot G4NJH.

**
FCC IMPLEMENTS TWO-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION FOR REGISTRATION SYSTEM

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: In an effort to make its online registration system more secure, the Federal Communications Commission is introducing two-factor authentication while signing on. As of the 29th of March, those wishing to access to the Commission Registration System known as CORES will need to request a six-digit secondary verification code to be sent to their email address. They will be required to enter the code into the system before they can go forward with logging in. This requirement will affect anyone looking to reset a password, request a new Federal Registration Number or to pay any application or regulatory fees.

(ARRL, FCC)

**
FCC AUCTION PROGRAM RECEIVES EMMY AWARD

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: The Emmy Awards, best known for their celebrity recipients, has a new well-known recipient among the ranks: The US Federal Communications Commission. That report comes to us from George Zafiropoulos KJ6VU.

GEORGE: In the US, the Emmy Awards bestowed by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, are best known for acknowledging stellar achievements in the television industry. This year, however, a somewhat unconventional award recipient stood out among the more typical award-winners in entertainment and sports programming.

The Federal Communications Commission, the US government regulatory agency, was the recipient of a Technology & Engineering Emmy Award for having held a broadcast auction. The auction, which took place over several years, opened the door for TV stations to receive incentive payments in exchange for their return of underutilized parts of the broadcast spectrum. The funds the stations received enabled them to reinvest in their own operations while the newly available spectrum was auctioned off to wireless broadband carriers, to use for 5G or other services.

The auction brought in a gross total of $19.8 billion in US currency. Fifty broadcasters received a total of $10.05 billion in payments. Another $7.3 billion went into the US Treasury to help reduce the federal deficit.

This is George Zafiropoulos KJ6VU

(FCC)

**
NOMINATE OUR NEXT YOUNG HAM OF THE YEAR

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: Do you know a promising young radio amateur who'd be a good candidate for the Bill Pasternak Memorial Young Ham of the Year award? Let Newsline know! Candidates must live in the continental United States and be 18 years of age or younger. Tell our judges about your nominee's talent, promise and commitment to the spirit of ham radio. This is your chance to help honor and acknowledge that person who will, no doubt, go on to teach and inspire others. Find the nomination form on our website arnewsline.org under the "AWARDS" tab. Nominations close on May 31st.

**
HAMSCI HOLDS WEEKEND WORKSHOP FOR CITIZEN SCIENTISTS

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: Just two weeks ahead of its Solar Eclipse QSO Party, members of HamSCI - the ham radio citizen science investigation organization - met with STEM educators, researchers and ham radio operators for its seventh annual workshop. It was hosted on March 22nd and 23rd on the campus of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio and online. Workshop topics ranged from a review of ionospheric data collected during last year's annular solar eclipse to various aspects of space weather. A major topic of the weekend was "Alignments between the Sun, Moon and Earth," in preparation for the April 8th total eclipse of the sun over North America.

(HAMSCI, ED WILSON, N2XDD)

**
HAMS PREP FOR WORLD AMATEUR RADIO DAY

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: What are you doing on April 18th? There's something to celebrate, as Graham Kemp VK4BB tells us.

GRAHAM: Twenty-five countries formed the International Amateur Radio Union in Paris in 1925. There are now three regions across the world and 160 member societies. World Amateur Radio Day is being marked on April 18th and this year's celebration has been given a theme in anticipation of the IARU reaching its centenary next year. Organisers are calling it "A Century of Connections: Celebrating 100 Years of Amateur Radio Innovation, Community and Advocacy." The name acknowledges that ham radio became popular even before the IARU was created as an advocate for hams' roles in global communication and to defend amateur frequency allocations.

On April 18th, be listening for amateurs across Canada operating official stations ending in the suffix RAC, for Radio Amateurs of Canada. A more expanded on-air celebration is planned in Greece, where the Radio Amateur Association of Greece will be using the callsign SZØWARD to mark the occasion from April 15th to the 30th. Be listening around for other organisations in other nations and regions as they join the global celebration.

This is Graham Kemp VK4BB.

(IARU)

**
WORLD OF DX

In the World of DX, be listening for ER3ØARM, a special callsign marking the 30th anniversary of the Amateur Radio Society of Moldova, ER1KAA. Operators will be on the air until the 30th of April. See QRZ.com for QSL details.

Felipe, CE3SX, is active as CB0ZIX from the Juan Fernandez islands until the 4th of April. You can hear him on 6 metres SSB and FT8 in fox-hound mode. See QRZ.com for QSL details.

Pete, GØTLE is using the callsign V4/GØTLE from St Kitts, IOTA Number NA-104, until the 5th of April, operating CW and SSB on 40-10m. QSL details can be found on QRZ.com.

Listen for Torsten, DL9GG, active as ZD7GG from St. Helena Island, IOTA Number AF-022 until the 30th of March. Torsten is using CW and some SSB on 160-10 metres. QSL via home call, or eQSL.

(425 DX BULLETIN)

**
KICKER: SEEDS FOR YAGIS AND DIPOLES? ANTENNAS ARE A GROWTH INDUSTRY

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: We end this week's newscast with a special report from our April Fool's Day correspondent, Pierre Pullinmyleg. Pierre has spent the last several decades as an investigative reporter for Newsline and he has a groundbreaking report that will change the lives of hams living in communities that impose antenna restrictions. This report is a Newsline exclusive. Pierre?

PIERRE: Ah, cherie, we must rejoice: After years of research and experimentation zee famous French scientist, Jacques N. d'Beanstalk, has created not just ham radio's best engineered antennas but ham radio's first genetically engineered antennas - zeese are antennas you can grow from seed! You can now plant Yagis, hex beams, quads and longwires and as zay spring up from zee earth, zeese will all look like zee green beans, zee sunflowers, zee Big Boy tomatoes. Zee homeowner association president, ah, she will never know you are growing a true antenna farm! Zeese Brussels sprouts can get you DX in Brussels! Zeese tall French green beans will get you a contact with.........Moi, Pierre Pullinmyleg, living just outside of Marseille, where I am growing my own crop of tender end-fed half-wave dipoles. Ah, and if after trimming your antenna, you still cannot get good SWR, simply keep trimming and turn your antenna into a salad!!!!! Ooooh! Oooh! Ooooh la lah! Now Pierre is so very hungry. Au revoirs, mes amis, I must go fricassee my J-pole.

SIERA hosts Scout amateur radio merit badge day

Boy Scouts talked to amateur radio operators as far away as Puerto Rico and Arizona during a radio merit badge class hosted by the Southernmost Illinois Emergency Radio Association (SIERA).

Five scouts from Troop 2007, out of St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Paducah, attended the class on Saturday, March 23, at Trinity Church in Metropolis.

Scouts experimented with tuning forks and a wave generator and had the opportunity to talk on both handy-talkie and high-frequency base radios during the class. They also learned about the science and mechanics of radio as well as important safety measures.

Club members explained that in the event of an emergency, cell phones might not work, but ham radio operators can send and receive important messages. Club members also help out the community by staging at events such as the annual River To River Run, where they can radio for help if a runner needs assistance, even in areas where cell phone signals struggle to get out.

SIERA member Lloyd Baker, who is also a Cub Scout den master, taught the class. Other SIERA members participating were president Jay Smock, vice president Aidan Carnes, secretary Geoff Williams and youth member Drew Byrne.

Byrne is also a member of the scout troop. Other scouts participating were William Babbs, Cole Shoulta, Javier Bautista and Matthew Scarpino.

For more information about SIERA or to arrange for testing for an amateur radio license, ws1era.org.

 DX news

This week's bulletin was made possible with information provided by AA3B, HA7VK, K6EI, The Daily DX, 425 DX News, DXNL, Contest Corral from QST and the ARRL Contest Calendar and WA7BNM web sites. Thanks to all.

MONACO, 3A. Jim, K6EI will be QRV as 3A/K6EI from April 1 to 6. Activity will be on 40 to 10 meters using primarily FT8, FT4, and some CW, with QRP power. QSL direct to home call.

MAURITIUS, 3B8. Johann, DM7CW is QRV as 3B8/DM7CW from Condos Quatre Bornes until April 10. Activity is on 40 to 10 meters using CW, SSB, and various digital modes. QSL via LoTW.

FIJI, 3D2. Dom, 3Z9DX is QRV as 3D2AJT from Nadi until April 30. QSL via Club Log.

VIET NAM, 3W. Alex, KU1CW plans to be QRV as 3W9A in the CQ World Wide WPX SSB contest. QSL via LoTW.

CHILE, CE. Members of the Antofagasta DX Group will be QRV as CB7H in the Los Lagos region during the CQ World Wide WPX SSB contest. QSL via XQ1KN.

JUAN FERNANDEZ ISLAND, CE0. Felipe, CE3SX is QRV as CB0ZIX until April 4. Activity is mainly on 6 meters, but also on the HF bands using SSB and FT8 in DXpedition mode. QSL via LoTW.

MOLDOVA, ER. Special event station ER30ARM is QRV until April 30 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Amateur Radio Society of Moldova. QSL via bureau.

GUADELOUPE, FG. Bert, FG8OJ and Jean-Luc, F1ULQ are QRV as TO1Q from Sainte-Anne until April 8. Activity is on 80 to 6 meters, including some Satellite activity. They will be a Multi Op/Single Band on 10 meter entry in the CQ World Wide WPX SSB contest. QSL via LoTW.

MAYOTTE, FH. Operators Ros, 4Z5LA, Ruben, 4Z5FI and Slava, 4Z5MU are QRV as TO5LA until April 2. This includes being an entry in the CQ World Wide WPX SSB contest. QSL via 4Z5FI.

AUSTRAL ISLANDS, FO. Haru, JA1XGI is QRV as TX5XG from Raivavae, IOTA OC-114, until April 3. Activity is on 160 to 6 meters using CW, SSB and various digital modes. This includes being active on Satellite IO-117. QSL via LoTW.

HUNGARY, HA. Special call sign HG24TISZA will be QRV as a Single Op/All Band/High Power entry in the CQ World Wide WPX SSB contest. QSL via HA7VK.

VATICAN, HV. Look for HV0A to be QRV on March 30 beginning around 0800z. Activity will be on several HF bands using only CW. QSL direct to IK0FVC.

SURINAME, PZ. Ren, PY8WW will be QRV as PZ5TW until April 6. Activity is on the HF bands using CW, SSB, and various digital modes. This includes being an entry in the CQ World Wide WPX SSB contest. QSL to home call.

ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA, V2. Bud, AA3B is QRV as V26K from Antigua, IOTA NA-100, until April 3. Activity is on the HF bands with an emphasis on CW. This includes being an entry in the CQ World Wide WPX SSB contest. QSL to home call.

TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS, VP5. Operators AF3K, KH6M and W2TT are QRV as VQ5P from Providenciales, IOTA NA-002, until April 2. Activity is on 160 to 6 meters using CW, SSB, FT8, and FT4. This includes being an entry in the CQ World Wide WPX SSB contest. QSL via N2OO.

MEXICO, XE. A group of operators are QRV as 4A5D from Maria Madre Island, a possible new IOTA, until March 30. Activity is on 20, 15, and 10 meters using SSB and FT8. It is also POTA MX-0171. QSL via EA5GL.

LAOS, XW. Vincent, XW4KV is QRV from Vang Vieng until June 1. QSL via F4BKV.

VANUATU, YJ. Operators VK3HJ, VK3QB, VK6CQ and K0BBC are QRV as YJ0VK until April 11. Activity is on 40 to 6 meters using CW, SSB, and FT8. QSL via M0OXO.

UK SOVEREIGN BASE AREAS ON CYPRUS, ZC. Adrian, G0KOM is QRV as ZC4MK from Avdimou until April 1. Activity is on the HF bands. This includes being an entry in the CQ World Wide WPX SSB contest. QSL to home call.

THIS WEEKEND ON THE RADIO. The CQ World Wide WPX SSB Contest, QRP 80-Meter CW Fox Hunt, NCCC FT4 Sprint, Weekly RTTY Test, NCCC CW Sprint, Sasquatch CW Stomp, K1USN Slow Speed CW Test, and the Feld Hell Sprint will certainly keep contesters busy this upcoming weekend.

The K1USN Slow Speed CW Test, ICWC Medium Speed CW Test, IRTS 70-Centimeter Counties Contest, IRTS 2-Meter Counties Contest, DARC Easter Contest, OK1WC CW Memorial, 144 MHz Spring Sprint, ARS Spartan CW Sprint, Worldwide Sideband Activity SSB Contest, ZL Sprint, QRP 40-Meter CW Fox Hunt, Phone Weekly Test, A1Club AWT, CWops Test, VHF-UHF FT8 Activity Contest, Mini-Test 40 CW, Mini-Test 80 CW and the UKEICC 80-Meter SSB Contest are scheduled for April 1 to 3.

THURSDAY EDITION: Raw start to the day here on the island...Global warming has slightly slowed Earth's rotation — and it could affect how we measure time...Elon Musk Says 'Almost Anyone' Can Afford A $100,000 Ticket To Mars By Working And Saving — But 57% Of People Can't Cover A $1,000 Emergency

Open HT Surgery Gives Cheap Transceiver All-Band Capabilities

Watch out, Baofeng; there’s a new kid on the cheap handy talkie market, and judging by this hardware and firmware upgrade to the Quansheng UV-K5, the radio’s hackability is going to keep amateur radio operators busy for quite a while.

Like the ubiquitous Baofeng line of cheap transceivers, the Quansheng UV-K5 is designed to be a dual-band portable for hams to use on the 2-meter VHF and 70-centimeter UHF bands. While certainly a useful capability, these bands are usually quite range-limited, and generally require fixed repeaters to cover a decent geographic area. For long-range comms you want to be on the high-frequency (HF) bands, and you want modulations other than the FM-only offered by most of the cheap HT radios.

Luckily, there’s a fix for both problems, as [Paul (OM0ET)] outlines in the video below. It’s a two-step process that starts with installing a hardware kit to replace the radio’s stock receiver chip with the much more capable Si4732. The kit includes the chip mounted on a small PCB, a new RF choke, and a bunch of nearly invisible capacitors. The mods are straightforward but would certainly benefit from the help of a microscope, and perhaps a little hot air rework. Once the hardware is installed and the new firmware flashed, you have an HT that can receive signals down to the 20-meter band, with AM and SSB modulations, and a completely redesigned display with all kinds of goodies.

ACTIVE HAMS

 K1TP- Jon....Editor of As The World Turns....
WB1ABC- Ari..Bought an amp and now we can here him on 75 meters, worships his wife, obsessed with Id'ing
N1BOW-Phil...Retired broadcast engineer, confused and gullible, cheap, only uses singl ply toilet paper
KB1OWO- Larry...Handsome Fellow ,only cuts lawn in August, plows snow the rest in Jackman, Maine
W1GEK- Big Mike....Nearfest Cook, big motor home, electronics software engineer ...
AA1SB- Neil...Living large traveling the country with his girlfriend...loves CW
N1YX- Igor....peddles quality Russian keys, software engineer
K1BGH...Art.....Restores cars and radio gear, nice fella...
N1XW.....Mike-easy going, Harley riding kind of guy!
K1JEK-Joe...Easy going, can be found at most ham flea market ...Cobra Antenna builder..
KA1GJU- Kriss- Tower climbing pilot who cooks on the side at Hosstrader's...
W1GWU-Bob....one of the Hosstrader's original organizers, 75 meter regular, Tech Wizard!!!
K1PV- Roger....75 meter regular, easy going guy...
W1XER...Scott....easy going guy, loves to split cordwood and hunt...
KB1VX- Barry- the picture says it all, he loves food!
KC1BBU- Bob....the Mud Duck from the Cape Cod Canal, making a lot of noise.
W1STS- Scott...philosopher, hat connoisseur,
KB1JXU- Matthew...75 meter regular...our token liberal Democrat out of Florida
K1PEK-Steve..Founder of Davis-RF....my best friend from high school 
K9AEN-John...Easy going ham found at all the ham fests
K1BQT.....Rick....very talented ham, loves his politics, has designed gear for MFJ...
W1KQ- Jim-  Retired Air Force Controller...told quite a few pilots where to go!
N1OOL-Jeff- The 3936 master plumber and ragchewer...
K1BRS-Bruce- Computer Tech of 3936...multi talented kidney stone passing ham...
K1BGH- Arthur, Cape Cod, construction company/ice cream shop, hard working man....
W1VAK- Ed, Cape Cod, lots of experience in all areas, once was a Jacques Cousteus body guard....
K1BNH- Bill- Used to work for a bottled gas company-we think he has been around nitrous oxide to long
W1HHO- Cal...3941 group
K1MPM- Pete...3941 group
WA1JFX- Russell...3941

SILENT KEYS

Silet Key KA1BXB-Don...Regular on 3900 mornings....just don't mention politics to him, please!
Silent Key N1IOM- 3910 colorful regular
Silent Key WS1D- Warren- "Windy" - Bullnet
Silent Key KMIG-Rick....75 Meter Regular....teaches the future of mankind, it's scary!
Silent Key Neil -K1YPM .....a true gentleman
Silent Key K1BXI- John.........Dr. Linux....fine amateur radio op ....wealth of experience...
Silent KeyVA2GJB- Graham...one of the good 14313 guys back in the day.
Silent Key K1BHV- David...PITA
Silent Key W1JSH- Mort...Air Force man
Silent Key K1MAN--Glen....PITA
Silent KeyKB1CJG-"Cobby"- Low key gent can be found on many of the 75 meter nets.........
Silent KeyWB1AAZ- Mike, Antrim, NH, auto parts truck driver-retired
Silent KeyWB1DVD- Gil....Gilly..Gilmore.....easy going, computer parts selling, New England Ham..
Silent Key W1OKQ- Jack....3936 Wheeling and Dealing......keeping the boys on there toes....
Silent Key W1TCS- Terry....75 meter regular, wealth of electronic knowledge...
Silent Key WIPNR- Mack....DXCC Master, worked them all!.. 3864 regular for many years...
Silent Key WILIM- Hu....SK at 92... 3864 regular for many years...
Silent Key N1SIE- Dave....Loves to fly
Silent Key:N1WBD- Big Bob- Tallest ham, at 6'10", of the 3864 group
Silent Key: W1FSK-Steve....Navy Pilot, HRO Salesman, has owned every radio ever built!
Silent Key: W4NTI-Vietnam Dan....far from easy going cw and ssb op on 14275/313
Silent Key:K1FUB-Bill- Loved ham radio....